EkitiDecides2018! Voters Take Pictures of Ballot Papers To Claim Incentives From Political Parties – CDD

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EkitiDecides2018! Voters Take Pictures of Ballot Papers To Claim Incentives From Political Parties – CDD

In the preliminary report released by the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) on the Ekiti Election and signed by its Director, Idayat Hassan, the democracy and development focused group said some electorates where engaged in vote selling in Ekiti despite efforts by the security operatives to prevent such endeavors.

“Correctly, we observed security agents preventing voters from taking their phones into voting cubicles. It had been noted that some voters were taking pictures of their ballot papers as evidence of their vote to claim incentives from agents of political parties at polling units. It was reported that in Ijero Local Governance Area (LGA), Ward A, Polling Unite (PU) 003, the Department for State Security (DSS) asked that no one should go with his or her phones into any voting cubicle.”

CDD noted that the voting process commenced without significant logistical hitches.

“This may be attributed to the well-coordinated arrangements of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) ahead of the election to ensure early arrival of election officials and sensitive materials to various Registration Area Centres (RACs) across the existing 16 Local Government Areas (LGAs) in the State. The commission is congratulated for the E-track to track the location and movement of vehicles carrying sensitive election materials in real time to their locations.

While it is too early to ascertain the level of voter turnout across the State, the electorate has shown a high level of enthusiasm in exercising their franchise, as most polling units visited in the early hours of Election Day had voters already waiting for INEC officials to arrive and commence accreditation and voting by 8.00am. At the start, the voting process was conducted peacefully in most polling units visited by our observers. A few hours into the vote, however, there were few reported cases of violent-related incidents. In some of the polling units visited, we observed that the security personnel conducted themselves responsibly concerning their response to curtailing vote trading,” it stated in the report.

The group also reported cases of
attempts by thugs affiliated to two leading political parties to hijack voting materials.

“Our observers witnessed efforts made by some party thugs in Ward 3 PU004, Ikole LGA to snatch ballot boxes. Our observers confirmed that one of the thugs was taken away in NSCDC vehicle. At Efon LGA, a ballot box was seized in Ward 6 PU 12, by political thugs and, in a similar vein, a gunshot by unknown gunmen was reported in Ward 9 PU5 at Olumushe in Ado Ekiti.”

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